NeWs flash: the National Conference is rounding the corner.
To kick off the event, NeW is giving each nominee for the conference awards the opportunity to express their thoughts about how NeW has shaped them as writers, thinkers, activists, and strong, conservative women.
This series will provide readers and listeners with the opportunity to get to know the incredible NeW women up for our awards. These ladies are shaking up their campuses for conservatism. They are unstoppable. The series will consist of both audio and written interviews, so say tuned for more information and releases.
Kimberly Burton is one of the three nominees up for the “Woman of the Year” award, honoring one woman who has really made an impact on the NeW community. Read all about the waves that Kimberly has been making in her NeW community at Temple University below:
Q. How have your experiences with NeW shaped you as a conservative woman?
A. I think my experiences have just made me more confident in my beliefs and allowed me to make more conservative friends. It’s hard as a conservative woman to be on such a liberal campus. A lot of girls will not be friends with you, simply due to your political beliefs. It’s nice to have a place where we can all talk, and all the discussion and socializing with other conservatives has truly helped me grow.
Q. Tell us about any important projects or assignments you’ve been a part of:
A. Since I run the NeW at Temple social media, a lot of my projects through NeW have been social media campaigns for our personal social media. We did a whole club member countdown and nominee photo project for Gent Showcase. We also did a whole quote sharing month on social media for Women’s History Month. I also helped coordinate a few community service projects over the year. Our biggest one was we did cards, canning and care package item collection for military men and women overseas.
Q. How were you first introduced with NeW?
A. I was first introduced to NeW through a friend when I was a freshman. The club was not official on campus then, but we still met a few times. Then, in the spring of my freshman year, a few friends and I made the effort to become official at Temple and held our first meeting right before the end of the semester.
Q. Do you have any life or career advice for other NeW ladies?
A. I think my primary advice would be that you shouldn’t be afraid to take chances and put yourself out there. A lot of people are usually surprised since I’m only a sophomore how involved I am in clubs and internships. Honestly, it’s just about putting yourself out there and saying, “Hey, I have something to offer you!” Even if you aren’t experienced, you may have a perspective no one has. I feel like a lot of girls are scared to take chances, apply for that internship, or join a club they are interested in.
Q. How have you impacted your NeW community?
A. I tend to be a really outgoing person who has a lot of ideas and I think that has helped NeW at Temple grow. I also think that because I run all the social media, I’ve been able to further promote NeW personally.
Q. How has your NeW community impacted you? Will you maintain these relationships after graduation?
A. I’ve made a lot of new friends through NeW. With other conservative clubs on campus it can be harder to be open with other girls about your personal perspective or even become closer friends. NeW allows us all to be social, learn each others perspectives in more detail, and really network with other conservative women. I will definitely maintain all the friendships I’ve made through NeW, I have some really close friends and a future roommate who I became closer with due to NeW.
Q. What are your responsibilities at your NeW chapter? Did you enjoy them?
A. In my chapter, I am the Vice President. I help plan events and brainstorm community service and speaker ideas. I also track our pink perks, make our graphics, and run social media. NeW at Temple has a Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter which I keep updated on a regular basis. I come up with the ideas for the social media campaigns for the different holidays, event, months, etc. such as Gent Showcase and Women’s History Month. A majority of the job with social media is coordinating our Instagram as that is our most popular outlet. I love doing social media so I had a lot of fun doing it, planning our Instagram feed, and figuring out how to promote all our events amongst my other jobs.
Q. Do you have any anecdotes from your experiences with NeW?
A. I don’t have any specific stories. I think my most memorable is probably when we first tabled at Temple Fest. Temple Fest is the student activities fair that happens for three days when people are moving in and during the first few days of classes. Our table was right next to the Feminist Majority club. We tried to be nice, but they just really didn’t want us there at all. There were so many comments about our pink table cloth and how women is in our name, that we couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous they were.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. I will be a junior this fall so I still have two more years of college. This summer I will be interning in Washington, D.C. with the National Journalism Center, and in the fall, I will be abroad in London, England. When I graduate, I hope to be either a political journalist or a press secretary for a congressman.
Q. What are a few essential qualities in a conservative leader? How have you emulated these qualities through NeW or other leadership experiences?
A. I think that conservative leaders need to be true to themselves and outspoken about their beliefs. I don’t think anything else is “essential” because everyone is different, even in the conservative movement. I try to be outspoken about my beliefs whenever I can, and I don’t conform my beliefs to those of my peers, even if they don’t agree. I think that has helped me in NeW, my other conservative clubs, and my political internships to stand out.
Q. Who, in the conservative community, inspires you?
A. A lot of conservatives I really admire like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are from the past. However, I love Nikki Haley. I think she is a prime example of a strong conservative woman and I really admire that. I also really like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. I think they are both very outspoken about their beliefs but in a good way.
Q. How can a conservative woman have the biggest impact within her community?
A. I think for one, staying true to yourself is a huge thing. I think a lot of people have more respect for someone if they stay true to their personal beliefs over someone who tries to be too much like someone they are not. I also think a lot of it is just getting out there. A lot of conservative women don’t really put themselves out there, and just doing that makes a huge difference.
Q. What do you consider to be the single most important political issue at the moment?
A. I don’t think I have a single most important issue because everyone has different things they find important, and I have a lot of interests. I think one of the most important political issues is spending. People were really upset a few weeks ago about the budget, and the budget controls many people’s views on other issues. I also think second amendment and abortion are two other huge issues right now, as many people are marching about these issues.